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June 4, 2015 | Poetry

Defense

Donna Vorreyer

Defense photo

Defense

I stretch the pores in my forearms wide enough to sow tomato plants. The Big Boys will take three months to mature. I quit my job and find a chair with sturdy arms to take the added weight. I drink beer to feed the roots, but I run out so I call the grocery to deliver more. The truck arrives at noon, but noon is when I have my midday watering, so I miss the truck. They leave the delivery on the front stoop. I drag my forearms to retrieve it, and I see my ex-lover drive by with a woman whose arms are smooth and bare. I examine the hard green globes blossoming on mine and know he will want me back now that I can make things grow.

I spend the afternoon planting zinnias in my navel. This is grueling work. I nap and wake at two AM and knock at my ex-lover’s door, bursting with zinnias, the greenery of my forearms twined graceful in braceleted ropes. I offer myself to him, a walking garden, proof of my fertility. He slams the door in my face. I go home, sit on the lawn as the sprinklers begin their morning ritual. Once I am sated, I find my machete. It is heavy in my heavy arms. I drag that machete all the way back to my ex-lover’s house, scraping sparks in my wake. I ring the bell and wait for him to answer. My machete is sharp and quick.

 

image: Tara Wray


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